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Government by extortion is not what founders had in mind

Editorial Board • Oct 11, 2015 at 2:00 PM

Americans must be puzzled as to why some federal representatives seem to get up some mornings and take a stupid pill, as with those who threaten to shut down the entire federal government unless Planned Parenthood is defunded. And our congressmen wonder why it is that snails are held in higher esteem.

Yet they regularly attempt to link a single issue to a must-pass bill, thereby holding the government — and the people — hostage. If a proposed bill cannot face a separate vote, it shouldn’t be introduced. Government by extortion is not what the founders had in mind.

All the rhetoric aside, the fact is Planned Parenthood provides needed services for millions of poor women including cancer screenings and birth control. So why would anyone wish to deny these citizens such needed services?

Those pushing to shut down Planned Parenthood claim it’s because the organization is selling tissue from aborted fetuses contrary to federal law.

But Planned Parenthood as an organization isn’t violating any laws; after all, it’s only something that exists on paper. People violate laws. And if anyone employed by Planned Parenthood appears to be breaking any law, in any way, then there should be an investigation and if warranted, prosecution.

But as we all know, the effort to abort Planned Parenthood isn’t just about the alleged selling of body parts. It’s about shutting down birth control. It’s about undermining Roe v. Wade.

But eliminating federal funding of Planned Parenthood won’t save taxpayers any money. To the contrary, it will cost them more money.

The Congressional Budget Office says increased unwanted pregnancies would then have to be paid for by Medicaid; CBO says that would increase costs to the taxpayers by $130 million between 2016-2025. Meanwhile, more than half a million low-income women would lose access to health care and family planning.

They would have more children they don’t want and won’t properly care for, which taxpayers will end up caring for all of their lives, and into next-generations. That doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Those who would shut down Planned Parenthood should introduce their bill, but only as a standalone piece of legislation. And if it’s the will of Congress to pass it, so be it.

As usual, the American people will pay for the consequences.

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